I have been making this Easy French Bread for what seems like forever. It’s so simple and you can either use a bread machine (which I do) or a dough hook on your electric mixer. It makes two standard baguettes, about a foot long and I am telling you, I cannot resist warm bread right out of the oven. Bread is, and has always been, my downfall.
If you’re using a bread machine, you literally need to put the ingredients in and turn it on the dough cycle. This takes care of the mixing, needing and first rise. Easy peasy!
After that, you just form it into two equally-sized loaves, cover and place in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes. I preheat my oven during this time. If you want to get all fancy, you can use this type of french bread pan which allows the air to circulate during baking giving you that traditional crust. However, it is absolutely not a necessity.
I like to make a few decorative slashes in the dough with this lame (a very sharp knife works well) and instead of an egg wash, I use almond milk. Now is a great time to add some coarse salt if you’d like.
I serve with vegan margarine. Alternately, you can slice these baguettes on the diagonal using a serrated bread knife and toast them. I have a Breville Mini Smart Oven that I love to use instead of my oven & you will hear me rave about it (not sponsored, just love it). Best toaster oven I have ever owned!
Olive tapenade, salsa, rubbed with fresh garlic for your next pasta or even for something sweet like my Strawberry Crostini with Sweetened Whipped Vegan Ricotta. Topped with strawberries that have been mascerated in sugar and a bit of coconut whipped cream, they are so delicious.
Next time, I might give them a drizzle of a balsamic reduction and perhaps, a small mint leaf.
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Easy French Bread
- 1 c Water room temperature
- 2-3/4 c BREAD Flour
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1-1/2 tsp Instant Yeast
- Place all ingredients in a bread machine or if making by hand, an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- For the bread machine, use the dough cycle. This should be about 1 hour and 40 minutes and will take care of the mixing, kneading and first proofing. It will also knock down the dough at the end of the cycle.
- If making by hand, allow the mixer to combine the ingredients and knead for about 5 minutes or until the dough is formed and smooth. Place into a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise. About 30 minutes.
- Once risen and punched down, form into two evenly shaped baguettes and make three slashes diagonally across the loaves. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Once risen, brush with a small amount of almond milk (and salt, if desired).
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack for a few minutes before slicing and serve warm.